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This year’s most interesting complicated watches

Bloomberg • 5 min read
This year’s most interesting complicated watches
(June 4): There are plenty of times and plenty of places where you want a simple watch. Often that's the right tool to get the job done, even if that job is just enjoying a nice dinner with some friends. But there are other times when you want someth
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(June 4): There are plenty of times and plenty of places where you want a simple watch. Often that's the right tool to get the job done, even if that job is just enjoying a nice dinner with some friends. But there are other times when you want something a little, well, more. Most watch collectors have their favorite complications, whether chronographs, perpetual calendars, tourbillons, or something more exotic, and here we've rounded up five of the most interesting complicated watches of 2018 according to our team of editors. They range from the unexpected-but-practical to the almost-incomprehensible. Check 'em out.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2

Truth be told, I have yet to break into a truly complicated watch (the most complicated watch I own and wear is a chronograph). I think it mostly has to do with the fact that a) I can't afford a truly complicated watch and b) I like the clean aesthetic of a simple complication. That being said, I have always had a soft spot for calendar watches. Both annual and perpetual calendar watches are technically interesting and practical (form and function, people), which is why I am super into the Audemars Piguet RD#2 concept watch. While this watch isn't in production (here's hoping for SIHH 2019), it's impressive thickness of 6.3mm makes this a complication to watch. Not only because it makes for a really great AP RO QP (something AP is renowned for), but also because this movement can and likely will be implemented in numerous watches to come. I look forward to seeing what's next with this one. —Cara Barrett

Concept watch (no price);

Tudor Black Bay GMT

I know, I know, this is a watch that we've covered a lot already, and it's not a grand complication by any means, but I am a sucker for a GMT. It's the most useful complication there is, I think, especially if you travel a good deal. And with the Black Bay GMT, I am really impressed with Tudor's ability to come out with such a compelling version of the complication that uses an in-house movement, while still delivering great value for money. It's been said before, but it seems like nobody saw this watch coming in the same year that Rolex refreshed its GMT – but I'm glad they did. —Jon Bues

$3,575 (strap), $3,900 (bracelet);

A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split

There are two parallel paths being followed these days, when it comes to the development of new complicated watches. The first is what you might call an engineering-oriented approach, in which the goal is to develop a reliable and, increasingly, more affordable version of an existing complication. In this camp, we have watches like this year's Longines Annual Calendar. The other path is to create new complications built on the existing vocabulary of high complications, and using the traditional finishing vocabulary of fine watchmaking. The latter is for obvious reasons the rarer of the two, with cost of research and development, and the time-consuming nature of finishing a complex watch to a high standard, the most obvious reasons. However, for me the standout example of the latter approach from this year's introductions was the A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split, which allows you to split time not just the seconds (as in a traditional rattrapante chronograph) but the minutes and hours as well. It's a follow-on to the existing Double Split, of course, which is in turn an evolution (albeit a unique one) of a traditional split seconds chronograph, but as an example of classic complicated watchmaking at the highest possible level of execution, it really led the field. —Jack Forster


Oris Calibre 114

The latest example of Oris's in-house movement development program, the Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 114 expands their manufacture platform with a practical and flexible GMT function. Hand-wound and offering a 10-day power reserve, a power reserve indicator, and the date display we have come to expect since the Calibre 111, the 114's GTM functionality can be set in 30-minute increments. While most GMT complications are set to the hour of the applicable additional time zone, such functionality cannot account for the 30-minute offset for examples like Newfoundland Standard Time (UTC -3:30) or Indian Standard Time (UTC +5:30). In a 44mm steel case with sporty red-accents over either an anthracite grey or a black dial, this aviation-inspired design is ready for world travel (just watch out for those pesky 45-minute offset zones). —James Stacey


Greubel Forsey Differéntiel d'Égalité

Some might argue that a constant force mechanism isn't actually a "complication" by the traditional definition, but they can just @ me in the comments below. To me, the Differéntiel d'Égalité is one of the flat out coolest watches of the year. However, it hasn't been talked about too much, and that's becaues Greubel Forsey isn't yet fully revealing exactly how their latest remontoire-based mechanism works. It makes it a little hard to talk about, no? Either way, that brand's unending pursuit of ever more precise timekeeping, usually at great expense and with great complexity and artistry, is something to be admired. —Stephen Pulvirent

Price not yet announced;

Originally published by Hodinkee.

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